As 2015 slowly comes to an end, we decided to do a little review of the major events that have not only marked this year, but have also marked the world’s history. 2015 will surely be a year to remember. It started with the formation of The Eurasian Economic Union between Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in January. The same month, more than 2000 people died in a series of massacres in Baga, Nigeria. In February, The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2199 to combat terrorism. On February 16, The Egyptian military began conducting airstrikes against a branch of the Islamic militant group ISIL in Libya after thegroup beheaded dozens of Egyptian Christians. March was marked by ISIL’s demolishing of the ancient city sites of Nimrud, Hatra and Dur-Sharrukin in Iraq and their alliance with fellow jihadist group Boko Haram which effectively annexed the group. In April a magnitude 7.8 earthquake stroke Nepal and caused 8,857 deaths. In May, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. Cuba became the first country in the world to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis this past June, while USA legalized gay marriage nationwide. In July Greece became the first advanced economy to miss a payment to the International Monetary Fund in the 71-year history of the IMF. Debris found on Réunion Island in August was confirmed to be that of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, missing since March 2014. September will be most remembered for the Volkswagen Emission scandal and NASA discovering there is liquid water on Mars. October continued with a suicide bomb in Ankara, Turkey , an earthquake the Hindu Kush region, the intense hurricane Patricia and plane crash near Al-Hasana in Sinai that killed 224 people. In November the world was shaken by the Paris attacks, while in December a global climate change pact is agreed at the COP 21 summit, committing all countries to reduce carbon emissions for the first time. The year 2015 was also marked by the refugee crisis which is yet to culminate in the upcoming year.
You must agree with us that 2015 was a hell of year, but let’s delve deeper in the top 10 events that it will be most remembered for…
Greece Debt Crisis
- A father and daughter at a demonstration in Athens in late June. Credit Eirini Vourloumis for The New York Times
Nobody expected that a developed country which is a part of the European Union, could have reached debts of €323bn. Although Greece dept crisis started in 2010, on June 30, 2015, the country failed to make an IMF loan repayment. Greece PM, Alexis Tsipras brokered recapitalization of the country’s banks and the unwinding of capital controls. Fortunately, Greece wasn’t forced to leave the European Union and was given two international bailouts from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission. You can read more about the Greece’s Debt Crisis at nytimes.com
Natural Disasters in Nepal and Chennai
- Children sit atop a home reduced to rubble during the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in late April. (©2015 Annila Harris/World Vision)
2015 was a year that will be remembered for a lot of devastating natural disaster, including the heat wave as well as the monsoon rains in India, massive floods in Malawi and Mozambique, drought in Ethiopia etc. However, the biggest disasters of 2015 happened in Nepal and Chennai. A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, killing more than 8,800 people. This was the deadliest disaster on record for the nation of 26 million people. The same year, only in November, weeks of torrential rains caused the worst flooding the southern India city of Chennai has seen in 100 years. At least 379 people have died. The floods also destroyed about 100,000 acres of crops worth almost $190 million.
- ench police gathering evidence at the Bataclan theatre on 14 November. Image via wikipedia.org
On the night of Friday 13 November, a gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars in Paris, leaving 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. The attacks were the deadliest on France since World War II, and the deadliest in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004. The Islamic State of Iraq and ISIL claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was in retaliation for the French airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq.
Legalization of Same Sex marriage in the USA
- The White House Lit up in Rainbow Colors. Image via CNN
Friday, June 26 will be remembered as the day when gay rights activists won a historic victory. US Supreme Court ruled gay marriage is legal nationwide. The US became the 21st country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The decision was accepted with joy, rainbow flags being seen all over the world, especially on social media. President Barack Obama said the ruling was a “victory for America”and that “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free ”
Volkswagen Emission Scam
September was marked by one of the biggest scandals of 2015. Volkswagen admitted of cheating US emissions tests and installed software capable of deceiving regulators on up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide. This wiped billions of euros off Volkswagen’s market value and forced out its long-time CEO. The Group has confirmed it is working on a compensation package for all affected owners to accommodate falling residual values.
The Refugee Crisis
- photo via i.telegraph.co.uk
Migration to Europe isn’t something new, but in 2015 wave after wave of people fleeing war, persecution or hardship trying to reach safety and the promise of a better life. This resulted in humanitarian, logistical and political crises. Even though many disasters happened while the refugees were trying to reach safety, including shipwrecks and sinking killing people who’d boarded rickety boats in Libya heading for Europe, still the migration didn’t stop nor slowed down. 3,692 deaths of migrants were recorded by mid-December. Yet, there’s no indication the flood of humanity will stop in 2016.
Ashley Madison Scandal
- Ashley Madison
In July, the self proclaimed “premier venue for cheating spouses”, website Ashley Madison, was hacked and electronic evidence of infidelity was spewed across the internet. In September, the group of hackers who identified themselves as The Impact Team, dumped 9.7 gigabytes of stolen user info from Ashley Madison and Established Men into a so-called dark space on the Internet, which means the identity of 37 million users was revealed. But this wasn’t just a hack, it quickly became one of the biggest scandals of the year with people across the world being confronted with their partners’ affairs. And there were some well known names on the list of cheaters, including celebrities, parliamentarians, CEOs etc.
China and the Global Economy
- photo via thetibetpost.com
2015 will surely be remembered as the year when China’s economy started slowing down, holding everyone else back. China’s stock market has tumbled following stratospheric gains that peaked in June, while economic data indicated that the nation was likely to fall short of its 7 percent growth expectation. This most definitely raised a red flag for global economy. The prognosis for 2016 aren’t too bright with experts saying growth of the global economy will pick up next year, but not by much. Blame on China.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Premiere
- photo via starwars.wikia.com
The most anticipated movie of 2015 shattered the box office, breaking records previously held by iconic movies like Avatar, Jurassic Park and The Hobbit. The Walt Disney Company’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” earned roughly $517 million in worldwide ticket sales which is so impressive that it definitely deserves a spot in the top 10 events of the year. It was the largest opening weekend in North America, with $238 million in ticket sales. No wonder Disney is working on four more “Star Wars”-related movies.
Flowing Liquid Water Found on Mars
- photo via businessinsider.com
Is there hope for life on the Red Planet? There is a possibility, especially now that NASA has confirmed the existence of flowing liquid salty water on Mars. Scientists have long known that there is frozen water at Mars’ poles, but they have never discovered liquid water. The discovery could have huge consequences for future expeditions, including NASA’s goal of sending a manned mission to Mars by the 2030s. Access to water will add significantly to the sustainability of human presence on Mars.